Food is a treat for the senses. Imagine the aroma of simmering garlic, or butter melting over freshly popped popcorn wafting through the kitchen, tempting you to follow your nose to the source. Imagine the tangy taste when you bite into a lemon tart or the rich decadence of chocolate melting in your mouth.
But food is not just about the smell or taste – we eat with all our senses, perhaps more so with our eyes. The way a dish is plated and presented matters. And in this age of social media, whether you’re a restaurant chef, home baker, food blogger, or are simply preparing a meal for you and your loved ones, you’ll know well enough that this holds true.
So here are some food presentation ideas your followers are sure to appreciate.
1. Put your kitchen and stationery drawers to use
We’ve all seen those fancy dessert plates with silhouettes of a fork and spoon, and coffees dusted with perfect stencils of hearts and leaves among other designs. The good news is you can try these creative food presentation ideas for yourself with materials around the house. Simply place a fork and spoon on a long plate and dust cocoa powder or confectioner’s sugar through a fine sieve, or tap it out lightly from a bowl, holding it close to the utensils to prevent it from covering the plate. In case you make any mistakes, just wipe away the excess with a clean cloth. For beverages, use tracing paper to go over the outline of a block design that you like. Cut it out and place it on top of your drink, and dust any powder of your choice, like coffee, cinnamon or cocoa.
From thyme to rosemary, garnishing food always makes a dish look better. But it doesn’t have to end with herbs. Rummage through your spice box for creative food presentation ideas – for example, use sticks of cinnamon in a hot chocolate, or carefully place two of them in the corner on a cake of rice or biryani. Sprinkle a dash of red chilli powder on top of a savoury dish for a jolt of colour and flavour. For pasta, canapés, a buttery gravy and other savoury dishes of the like, shred cheese for a wonderful texture. Similar to shredded cheese, you can add chocolate shavings on top of desserts. Use these simple food presentation ideas to jazz up snacks for a party.
Check out how we garnished dal makhani with cashew cream, ginger strips and coriander sprigs below:
3. Adding a splash of colour to your plate
Adding colour to your plate always makes it look more appealing. If your plate mostly consists of protein, like a steak with a helping of mashed potatoes on the side, consider adding colourful veggies into the mix to brighten it. A few of the veggies you can try are:
- Brightly coloured bell peppers
- Cherry tomatoes
- Pickled beetroot
For simple food presentation ideas for desserts, fruits and berries are the way to go. When you think of plain cheesecake, mousse, or even a waffle or bowl of ice cream, it looks appetizing, but to make it more appealing, a pop of colour is required. And the best part about using fruits is that there are a number of ways to use each one, making this one of the simplest ideas out there.
- Cut strawberries in half and place them on the edge of a cake
- Dip strawberries in chocolate to top a fudgy chocolate cake
- Slice kiwis thinly and overlap them in concentric circles on a cheesecake
- Add cherries, raspberries, blueberries, or a mix of these to garnish a dessert, be it a few on the side or several to place as a border for a cake
- Mix fruits of your choice on top of whipped cream on a dessert, or in a bowl of ice cream
- Skewer wedges of fruit or berries on toothpicks to add to a plain-looking glass of juice
4. Change your canvas
Some of the best food presentation ideas can be innovated with changing the way you plate your dish, literally. While using plates of different sizes and shapes can add to the look, you can use a multitude of items as server ware. For example, use toothpicks as skewers to serve fruit salads instead of throwing your ingredients in a bowl. Serve truffles, cakes, mousses, cheesecakes and other desserts in clear glasses, or use wine glasses for some added finesse.
For a restaurant feel at home, place bite-sized appetizers and starters in dessert spoons and place these on a plate, next to one another. You can even serve meals in clean skillets and sizzler pans for a modern touch!
Looking for inspiration? Have a look at the video below to see how we served fruit trifles in mini cups:
5. Play with textures
Use dips, sauces, and compotes to add a touch of fun to plates. Dot chocolate sauce or create lines of caramel next to a pastry. Use a brush to swipe a chutney across a plate or paint small flowers or shapes near the corner of your dish. These tips can make a holiday dish look more festive.
Use these tips and hacks to make your dishes look more appealing. Check out Wonderchef’s range of cookware and serve ware to help you plate up your meals with creativity.